Langer cruises to six-shot win at Senior Players

By Associated PressJune 14, 2015, 10:33 pm

BELMONT, Mass. – For about 10 minutes on the front nine in the fourth round of the Senior Players Championship, Bernhard Langer was almost in trouble.

The defending champion three-putted on the third hole at the Belmont Country Club - his first bogey in 48 holes - and the eight-stroke lead he had to start the day was down to six. But he eagled the next hole, then coasted to a six-stroke victory in the third Champions Tour major of the year.

''I enjoy playing with a big lead. But you've still got to pay attention. It's not like it's over,'' said Langer, who claimed $405,000 and moved into second on the tour standings. ''You just never know what happens. This game is so amazing: It's brutally tough when things go bad, and enthralling and thrilling when things go right.''

A two-time Masters champion who won five times on the Champions Tour last year, Langer was winless this year before going wire-to-wire to earn his fifth major on the over-50 circuit. He is the first golfer since Arnold Palmer win in 1984 and '85 to successfully defend his title in the Senior Players.

''It was a magical week,'' Langer said. ''Obviously, to do something that Arnie did is amazing.''

Kirk Triplett shot 64 - a score that would have been good enough for a course record at the beginning of the week - to finish six strokes back at minus-13. Starting the day 10 strokes back, he birdied six of seven holes around the turn to win the only competitive battle: for second place.



''I thought: 'If I make six more birdies, Bernhard's going to be nervous,''' he joked. ''It's not the first time this guy's done this. ... Most of us didn't get out of the gate enough to stay with him.''

Senior tour points leader Colin Montgomerie shot 68 on Sunday to finish in a tie for third after spending the morning at Massachusetts General Hospital being checked out for chest pains. Doctors cleared him in time to get him back to the course for a 1:09 p.m. tee time despite a detour or two to get around a closed bridge downtown.

''I blame the British for building the roads,'' the 51-year-old Scotsman said. ''Bloody awful.''

Montgomerie earned 322 points in the Charles Schwab Cup standings and has 1,616 for the season - 172 more than Langer, who moved up to second. Russ Cochran (69) and Joe Durant (67) were also in the three-way tie for third.

''Best of luck to Bernhard,'' Montgomerie said. ''One day it will stop - hopefully sooner than later. But he's amazing, and all credit to him.''

Langer shot matching 65s in the first two rounds at the par-71, 6,812-yard course and then added a 67 on Saturday to open an eight-stroke lead over Cochran heading into the final round. A bogey on No. 3 might have opened the door, just a bit.

But Langer then put his second shot on the par-5 fourth hole about six feet from the pin, and knocked it in for an eagle. The 57-year-old German earned his 24th victory on the Champions Tour, tying him with Miller Barber for fourth all-time.

''Playing next to Bernhard, he's pretty solid,'' Cochran said. ''It just proves that if you want to win out here, you've got to do all things.''

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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”